Selected quotes from Deepak Tripathi:
Culture of Postmodernity
Who would have thought in the 1970s that the end of the Enlightenment was happening, and a new age was beginning – one in which mutual hatred would be much deeper, and there would be sections in society angry that our leaders had granted unacceptable levels of equality to those who did not deserve equality? In the supremacists’ minds, the ‘undeserving’ are inferior and subhuman. We have long reached the point where law and social attitudes are at odds like never before in my memory.
I feel overdosed on talk about immigration.
Culture of Violence
Reliance on coercive power as the primary method of convincing others corrodes the moral fiber of society, creating a world shorn of human sensitivity, justice and a stable order.
Murderous optimism of powerful and suicidal pessimism of victims in an oppressive environment blight the lives of many.
Intense propaganda battle and murderous war often accompany each other.
The eurozone is not a community of equals, but an empire, with Germany at the center and the rest on the periphery.
Unless we have the courage to confront appalling truths of our own past, and the ability to appreciate the context, we are really not free.
History is a pattern of hopes and disasters.
Events have demonstrated again and again that alliances with extremist groups to destabilise countries tend to produce a boomerang effect.
History never fails to surprise, and the future is unlikely to be any different, for those who seek greatness bring about their own downfall, and those who are humiliated wait for their day.
The present will define the future.
When the fog of hatred is thick and the lust to have it all becomes uncontrollable, it is difficult to recognize that humans throughout history have shown extraordinary capacity to harm fellow humans.
The sense of being the global master promotes a state of mind which becomes addicted to self-worshipping and misinterpreting others. Assertions of exceptionalism humiliate and radicalise, and often do not recognise the extent of resistance they produce.
Excessive ideological commitment, immoderate sincerity and determination to fight to the finish are fueling Syria’s crisis.
Hunger for war and lust for power or for distant resources always impair both reason and morality.
Persuading those who are ideologically drunk and politically myopic is often a hopeless undertaking.
Those who play Russian roulette must be ready for unexpected consequences.
The manner in which the modern Middle East was carved out by the victorious Allies after 1918 made sure that the new states were small, weak and unstable. They could only be held together by authoritarian rulers, beholden to external powers. New imperialism was born.
The shame of defeat radicalizes nations and societies, and often makes future conflict inevitable.
The fewer means the humiliated has, the more precious his honor and the stronger and more determined his retaliatory instinct.
If George W. Bush left behind a vast amount of wreckage in Iraq and Afghanistan, Barack Obama is about to leave similar wreckage in Libya and Syria.
When imperial powers conquer they force other peoples’ lands together for economies of scale. When they retreat they divide to keep those left behind small and weak.
Those who seek greatness bring about their own downfall.
Nation and Society
A country is never more vulnerable than when there is just one guarantor and not enough room for manoeuvre.
Where caste and class differentiations are fundamentals of societal organisation, that system is particularly brutal. Where such differentiations are pushed to the fore of national debate, maintaining the peace and tackling poverty are a forlorn hope. Where nationalism anchored in deep-seated religious and cultural superiority is imposed by one community over others, it is the very opposite of the idea of national cohesion.
State and Citizens
Israel [is] not a strong, but a weak state armed to the teeth with weapons, and immunity ensured only by the American veto in the UN Security Council.
How can a state be democratic and claim to be legitimate if it treats half its population differently, and constantly invents ways to maintain Jewish supremacy?
There are other domestic afflictions in American society, notably in areas of race relations, police accountability and gun control. President Obama has singularly failed to confront them.
The age-old social contract between the state and citizens is in crisis in the twenty-first century.
The glorious lives with the ignominious in modern India, and the country faces a moral crisis which seems to get more and more acute as time goes by.
Vigilante groups may lack unity, so they seek an external target to maintain a semblance of unity.